Three of them -- roughly fifteen, zit faced and grimy-- stood with their backs to Jerry, full of testosterone and mischief. They didn’t see him coming and continued their fun, carelessly dumping toys out of the bins and onto the floor. They didn’t care that someone would have to spend hours cleaning their mess up; they were too busy enjoying the destruction of order. Squirt guns, foam footballs, and swimming noodles covered the floor, Jerry kicked at an orange ball that came to rest next to his foot.

Without thinking about it, Jerry bent down and grabbed a baseball off of the floor that was slowly rolling toward him. He thought about the way he was treated, about how much he hated this place, about the future. The anger, frustration, and sadness welled up in him as he gripped the white leather and fingered the red stitching. That first ball caught the tallest boy directly in the ear, making a wonderful soft smacking sound as his head jerked back. The remaining two looked at that boy like he was crazy until they turned and saw Jerry, a ball in each hand and corporate-induced insanity in his eyes. He hit the pale boy in the chest, thumping his breath out and sending him reeling backward into the risers, boxes falling from the very top. If customers needed assistance with those items, they needed to find someone in the smiling blue smock.

Jerry and his smock were smiling as he thoughtlessly entered the same old combination and gathered up his meager belongings. As he passed the manager’s office he grabbed Bill’s briefcase from the desk and his college diploma from the wall, stopping in the dusty warehouse one more time to throw the items into the cardboard compactor. He pressed the red safety button and watched the steel plates slowly move in for the kill. As he walked across the loading dock, he felt lighter than air. The Toyota started on the first try and Jerry drove off, stopping only to pack a few clothes and to leave a note for the landlord. Finally, his work here was done.

Hallie Weibel
Customer Service
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